शनिवार, 24 जून 2017

Appeal to all RTI Activists and Information-seekers about their appeals and Complaints

Appeal to all RTI Activists and Information-seekers  to submit to Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs) their First Appeals, Second Appeals and Complaints as required under section 5 (2) of the Act  for forwarding same forthwith  to First Appellate Authorities and Information Commission

Dear friends

RTI Activists and  Information-seekers  should  compel  APIO ( Assistant Public Information Officer)  to   receive  their applications,  First Appeals, Second appeals  and complaints  and forward  the same to the PIO, First Appellate Authority  and  Information Commission   respectively. If  he refuses,  the Appellant or Complainant  should  file  complaint  against APIO directly  to State Information Commission  under section 18  of the RTI Act. 

As per section 5 (2) of the RTI Act, every Public Authority  shall designate an officer as Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO)  to receive the applications  for information or appeals  under the Act for forwarding the same forthwith to the  Public Information Officer or  First Appellate Authority  under section 19(1) or State Information Commission or Central Information Commission.

The State Information Commission while adjudicating Second Appeal Case No. 375/09 has issued direction to the State Govt. to issue appropriate guideline/instruction for functioning of APIO designated under   section 5(2) of the RTI Act. Accordingly, on 7.1.2013, the State Govt. in I and PR Dept., nodal Dept. issued guideline to all Principal Secretaries/ Commissioner-cum-Secretary/Special Secretaries of Govt. Departments for smooth  functioning of the APIOs of different public authorities  in order to remove  any functional difficulties  faced during implementation of the Act.

Despite the guideline in place, the APIOs are seen refusing to receive  the first appeal petitions   from the appellants ad their by harassing them.   In case,   RTI Activists and RTI Users find APIOs refusing appeals  and complaint petitions, they  should  directly  file complaint  to Information Commission  to get justice.  The  Notification issued  by I and PR dept.  dated  7.1.2013  and sent to all departments  in respect of guidelines  for APIOs is as follows.

Guidelines  for APIOs

a.      The APIO shall receive all RTI requests / applications  from persons seeking  information  and forward the same  application  to the appropriate PIOs  by recorded mail ( such as  Registered post  or speed post)  within 5 days  of the receipt  the application  as envisaged  in the setion-5 of the RTI At, 2005.
b.      The APIO  shall receive  all first  / second appeals  from the appellants  and forward the same appeals  to the First Appellate Authority ( FAA)/ Odisha  Information Commission  as the case may  be  within 5 days of the receipt of the  appeal  by recorded mail  ( such  as registered post or speed post). 
c.       APIO should render all assistance to the PIO, referred PIO and FAA while disposing RTI Applications and first appeals respectively.
d.      APIO  should  maintain  a Register  containing  the details of  RTI Applications / appeals  received ad forwarded  to  appropriate  quarters  with date  & time  and mode of transmission.
e.      APIO should render all assistance to the RTI Applicant during inspection of records.
f.          APIO should render all assistance to PIO during compilation of annual report  under  section 25  of the RTI Act. 
g.      APIO  should  render all assistance  to the PIO  while updating  the proactive disclosure  ( 17 manuals)  and e-filing  of applications  at RTI portal  in  regular interval.
h.      APIO should  render all assistance  to the PIO  while maintaining  RTI registers, files, Cash Book, records  etc.  and many other matters  relating  to  the implementation of  RTI Act.  

Pradip Pradhan

Date- 26.6.17 

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